FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O JUST CAN'T DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NEW GIRLS COMING UP WITH FRESHER FACES.
SO HE'S TAKEN TO LASHING OUT AND, THIS WEEK, HE DECIDED TO LASH OUT AGAINST CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS -- SPECIFICALLY SHERROD BROWN AND ELIZABETH WARREN -- AND CALL THEM LIARS
REACHED FOR COMMENTS BY THESE REPORTERS, BARRY O INSISTED THAT WE COULD NEVER KNOW HOW HE SUFFERED BECAUSE "YOU WERE NEVER THE BELLE OF THE BALL. TO HAVE BEEN THAT, TO HAVE BEEN AMERICA'S PRINCESS AND THEN HAVE TIME ROB YOU OF YOUR SHEEN AND BEAUTY . . . WELL IT'S TRAGIC. AND ENOUGH TO MAKE ANYONE GET A LITTLE BITCHY."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Eleven months ago, US President Barack Obama insisted that the only solution to Iraq's multitude of crises was "a political solution."
Eleven months ago.
And yet there is no progress on that.
And there has been no US government focus on that.
Barack has had officials in the administration -- Defense Dept, State Dept, Vice President Joe Biden, etc -- focus on lining up other governments to join in bombing Iraq from the air and 'training' Iraqi forces.
Nothing has been done to aid a political solution or to press for one.
"At the end of the day," Tamara Cofman Wittes declared Thursday, "civil wars end in only end in a couple of ways. Either one side vanquishes and exterminates or expels the other or they fight to the point where an external power can help -- sometimes impose, sometimes negotiate -- a political solution -- and that's guaranteed by outside powers. That's how civil wars typically end. We wouldn't want the first outcome so we should be driving for the second. And I think the extent to which the administration has articulated a longterm vision, that's its vision. The question is: How do we get there?"
Dr. Wittes is with the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. She was testifying at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Also appearing before the Subcommittee were the RAND Corporation's Dr. Seth Jones and the Institute for the Study of War's Jack Keane (who is a retired US General). The Subcommittee Chair is Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and the Ranking Member is Ted Deutch.
Some people want to explore issues.
Let's start with one of those.
US House Rep Brian Higgins: We tried to do one thing in Iraq, and I think we could only do one thing in Iraq, and that is through our military involvement to create a place -- a breathing space -- within which Sunni, Shi'ites and Kurds could develop a political contract. And they failed miserably. And the guy that we put in there, Nouri al-Maliki, we put him in there first, Iran put him in there the second time basically created another sectarian divide.
To be clear, Iran did not put Nouri in there for a second term. Iran favored him but he was named prime minister of Iraq on November 11, 2010
-- over a month after Iran got Moqtada al-Sadr to drop his objection to Nouri's second term -- and one day after -- one day after -- the US-brokered Erbil Agreement giving Nouri a second term was signed
-- I know Patrick Cockburn's repeated lies have misinformed many but check the archives, it's a day after the US-brokered contract giving Nouri a second term is signed that Nouri gets a second term
In fairness to Patrick Cockburn, in October 2010, he reported on Iran strong arming support for Nouri. And then Patrick did what worthless trash always does -- focus on something else.
When The Erbil Agreement was being finalized and signed?
He was off in Libya reporting on Libya. Seven days later, he hopped over to Syria for two stories before going back to Libya. Then to Iran. He never filed on Iraq the entire month -- though he did make time for Ireland and Greece.
The Parliament meets for the first time, a president is named, a Speaker of Parliament is named, Nouri is named prime minister-designate and Patrick never reports one word on Iraq.
Playing catch up some time later, he invents the lie that that Iran installed Nouri (The Erbil Agreement is what overturns the votes of the Iraqi people, not Iran -- and that was a White House led objective) and people believe him. Largely because his clique -- including the increasingly sad Noam Chomsky (oh, the stories I could tell . . .) -- keeps insisting he's the best reporter on Iraq.
Of course, they don't pay attention to Iraq which is why they think he's so damn good.
Arabs in the region see him as anti-Arab, by contrast, and that's due to the fact that they pay attention to his shoddy and misleading 'reporting.'
None of that is a slam at Higgins but I am so tired, almost five years after The Erbil Agreement, of people still trying to pretend it doesn't exist or not knowing that it does.
Showed their ass.
Lois Frankel is both a member of the US House of Representatives and a deeply disturbed person whose lack of ethics twist and turn, choking in on itself. We may cover Lois at Third. Hopefully, in the real world, someone will give her the counseling and/or meds she so desperately needs.
The issue is not my disagreeing with her opinion. The issue is her disagreeing with her stated opinion about two minutes after she argues it only to turn around and argue the other side. Not to be philosophical, please understand. Just to try to absolve Barack Obama of any guilt for the state of Iraq currently.
She is a deeply disturbed person and, sadly, deeply dishonest as well.
(Deeply dishonest includes distorting what the general said. She pulled words that he had not said out of thin air and accused him -- falsely -- of blaming America. In his rebuttal, he noted that he had not blamed America but that, yes, American actions in the region were among the contributors to the violence.)
A multitude of opinions were offered throughout the hearing -- by members of the Subcommittee and by witnesses. And you could agree with them or disagree with them or be apathetic. But with Lois Frankel, you couldn't agree with her because, just as soon as you did, she was ripping apart her stated beliefs to argue something else. Her district needs to look very closely at her statements -- which please remember, the last time we covered her, included her calling the American people stupid instead of attacking the media if she believed the American people had received the wrong message.
From the March 26th snapshot
:US House Rep Lois Frankel: I have a couple of questions. First relates to underlying conditions that led to the rise of ISIL. Would you -- would you agree that ISIL is not the cause of the turmoil in the region but a symptom of a deeper problems? And I'd like to get your opinion is it unstable governments, poverty, desperation, radical religion, what? I'd like to get your take on that. And secondly, I think the American public somehow thinks that you can simply get rid of ISIL by bombs or dropping -- or drones. Could you just explain the difficulty of -- of their assimilation into the population, and so forth, the terrain.Oh, that stupid American public!
A Congressional representative who makes a statement like that is one who should seriously be primary-ied and should she emerge from the Democratic Party primary still standing, let's hope a Green or a Republican can take her out of office because when you're using your soapbox to attack the very people who vote for you, you don't deserve a spot in the US Congress.
We should probably also note shrill and hysterical Gerry Connelly. No doubt, he'll again blame his wife for his performance but he shows up in the final minutes of the hearing and goes on to attack a witness for what he thinks a witness said at the start of the hearing.
Gerry's attack is weak in every way.
But mainly because he yet again almost cried in the midst of it.
Is there a reason he's that unbalanced?
He spoke for maybe two minutes and he had to tear up.
I'm sorry, what's the deal with cry babies in Congress.
Now I've defended any woman or man's right to cry when they're discussing serious issues.
Gerry was not, as one did, noting his parent who had suffered under the VA.
Gerry was just trying to attack.
Maybe he was about to cry because his attack was failing?
Maybe he was about to cry because his tighty-whiteys were crawling up his ass?
Maybe he was crying because his running in to attack meant he missed the end of General Hospital?
I have no idea.
But if he can't hold it together for two minutes without crying, it may be time for his peers to suggest he get some counseling or for him to announce he's retiring from Congress. He clearly has other things on his mind.
Let's go back to Thursday's hearing.
Brian Higgins: The second issue is the panel seemed to be dismissive of the sectarian nature of the conflict in Iraq and in Syria and I don't think it can be dismissed at all. I mean, it amazes me. General, you had made reference to Qaem Soleimani who heads the Quds forces in Iraq. I mean, he's not only a tan -- He's not a tangential player in what's going on in Iraq today and Syria, he's there physically. He's on the ground directing Shia militias to prop up the the Shia government in Iraq. And there not doing that as a goodwill measure, they're doing that to ensure that in the aftermath of ISIS, that Iraq remains Shia. And one could argue that ISIS basically wants their country back, they want to re-establish Sunni dominance in Iraq. And, you know, someone had said here -- it's a fair assertion -- that we should talk less to our enemies and more to our friends. We don't really have friends in that part of the world. You know, there's the discussion when Americans are in the room and the discussion when Americans are not in the room. And typically we count our friends as people whose interests are aligned with ours at any given time but they're not really helping us. And it just seems that given everything that Americans have invested in towards peace in Iraq -- $25 billion dollars to build up, to help them build up an Iraqi army, security force, $25 billion dollars -- and their first test, they ran. They ran from a fighting force of less than 31,000. The Iraqi army at that time was estimated to be anywhere from 180,000 and 240,000 fighters. And then we depend on our allies who have proven to be helpful to us, the Peshmerga, good fighters, experienced fighters, pro-Western, helped us in the early stages of the Iraq War. [. . .] Shi'ite militias? Who are controlled directly by Qasem Soleimani.
I don't make a point to identify "this person is a Democrat!" or "this person is a Republican!" If you're interested in party labels, look it up. I'm more interested in what's being discussed.
But we will note that Higgins is a Democrat.
And we'll note that because, pay attention here, he's commenting on who the US is arming.
Not the Peshmerga, not the Sunnis.
Though certain Shi'ite politicians in Iraq would like to pretend that it is Republicans only who are disgusted with the Shi'ite controlled Baghdad government refusing to adequately share the weapons and equipment the US is supplying, that's not the case.
Higgins is on record in many hearings -- and he's not the only Democrat who is -- expressing dismay over the lack of help to the Sunnis and the Kurds.
The proposal that was voted out of the Armed Services Committee on Thursday -- which will now go to a vote by the full House -- was not about creating three governments in Iraq.
That is a lie.
It could have been a misunderstanding on day one.
But as certain Shi'ite politicians -- not all -- continue to insist that it splits Iraq into three governments, they're now lying. There's been plenty of time to grasp reality.
What it would do is arm the Kurds and the Sunnis in addition to supplying Haider with weapons.
It would guarantee that what was supposed to happen -- the US was supplying all Iraqi forces with weapons to combat ISIS -- actually was happening.
Take it up with Haider al-Abadi who refused to do what he was supposed to.
Those weren't his personal gifts to give to Shi'ites.
Those were supposed to go to Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds.
And to certain bloggers and Tweeters in Iraq, you don't the US government.
The Congress can stop all weapons from going to Iraq.
You seem to think -- wrongly -- that Barack Obama is a King.
He is a public servant.
He heads the executive branch which is equal to the legislative branch and to the judicial branch.
Unlike thug Nouri, Barack doesn't control the US Parliament (Congress) or the Supreme Court.
And it is the US Congress that determines how much money (and weapons) Iraq will or will not get from the US.
If that's not clear enough to you, study up on former US President Ronald Reagan and grasp that had he been in better health, he would have been impeached for going around the US Congress to arm a group that the Congress said no to (Iran-Contra).
I grasp that Saddam Hussein did not instill democracy in Iraq.
I also grasp that Nouri al-Maliki bullied the Parliament and the Supreme Court.
But that's not the United States. And the US Constitution makes the three branches co-equal, they are checks and balances written into the system as such.
So you can pout and you can bitch, moan and whine but that's not going to change the fact that the US Congess will decide whether Baghdad gets arms or not.
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